David Phelps, Founder, Chairman and CEO

David Phelps is a founder of Merlin International and currently serves as the Chairman and CEO.  David is responsible for defining the company’s strategy and direction, setting the corporate culture and leading the senior executive team in support of future growth. Prior to founding Merlin, David developed a deep understanding of the federal marketplace during his 25-year career that included service in the U.S. Navy and industry positions with Ford Aerospace, Martin Marietta, Loral Aerospace, and The Aerospace Corporation. 

By combining his extensive background in satellite command and control, ground systems design and development, and high performance computing, with an extremely successful business model, he has turned Merlin into one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the country.

Jones Tallent, Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Jones Tallent is responsible for leading Merlin International’s accounting and finance operations and maintaining scalable policies and procedures that support business growth. Jones brings an extensive finance background including experience leading the accounting and reporting functions for companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion. 

Prior to Merlin, Jones was Vice President of Technical Accounting and Compliance at Sotera Defense as well as the Corporate Controller for Altegrity, where he was involved in building a flexible infrastructure to accommodate fast-paced organic growth and acquisitions. Jones is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and holds both a Master’s degree in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from State University. 

Mark Zalubas, Chief Technology Officer

Mark Zalubas is Chief Technology Officer for Merlin International. In this role, Mark is responsible for Merlin’s strategy and vision to continually provide government customers with optimal, secure, integrated and sustainable solutions that enable them to deliver on their missions.

Mark’s core competencies include cybersecurity, enterprise applications, data center infrastructure and cloud solutions. Mark has more than 28 years of technical and management experience guiding innovation and strategy for software companies and systems integrators. He has held leadership positions with Convergys, Oracle, and Lockheed Martin. Mark holds a Master’s of Science in Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Julie Xiang, Vice President of Sales

Julie Xiang is Vice President of Sales for Merlin International where she is responsible for leading the company’s sales and marketing team and growing revenue in both the commercial and public sector markets with a strong focus in healthcare.

Julie has over 16 years of information technology sales and sales management with her last seven years at IBM where she received significant achievement recognition. She has also held leadership positions at Oracle and Datatel Inc. Julie holds a Bachelor’s of Art degree in English from the Shanghai International Studies University, a Master’s of Education from Boston University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer and Information Science from the University of Maryland University College. 

John Kavas, Vice President, Corporate Development

John has served Merlin in many roles since the company’s inception. In his current role as Vice President of Corporate Development, he leads strategic efforts to leverage the company’s depth of experience in maximizing its potential. Currently, John focuses on Merlin’s acquisitions, divestitures, and structured finance transactions. John is instrumental in sustaining Merlin’s growth and position as one of the nation’s most trusted information technology solutions providers.  John is a graduate of Colorado State University and the University Of Denver College Of Law.

Michael Spies, General Counsel

Mike Spies serves as General Counsel for Merlin International. In this role, Mike manages all aspects of Merlin’s legal functions, practices and policies. In addition, Mike advises Merlin leadership regarding matters of legal risk, while helping to lead corporate expansion through strategic acquisitions and investments.

Prior to his role at Merlin, Mike served as the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Hosting.Com, Inc. and its various subsidiaries, including Stelligent Systems LLC. Mike also practiced law with Bryan Cave LLP and Holland & Knight LLP, two of the largest law firms in the United States.

Mike earned a J.D. from William & Mary School of Law. He also graduated from the College of William & Mary with degrees in economics and international relations. 

Tejinder Luthra, Vice President of Engineering

As Vice President of Engineering for Merlin International, Tej Luthra is building and leading a development team responsible for the integration of existing technologies and the development of new solutions that address organizations’ most pressing cybersecurity challenges.

Tej brings over twenty-two years of IT experience in a broad array of technical disciplines including distributed computing, design and development, cognitive computing, cloud computing, database administration and full Software Lifecycle Development. Prior to Merlin, Tej spent seven years at IBM, most recently as Global Technical Executive for Cloud Analytics. Tej holds numerous technical certifications and is a frequent speaker at technical conferences. He holds a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering from Gulbarga University in India and a Master’s of Computer Science and Software Engineering from Drexel University.